Australia’s biggest PGA drawcard Cameron Smith was dumped out early in a teary exit – here’s why this opens the door for a box office battle between local champions

Australian golf fans have been deprived of watching two-time winner Cameron Smith after big local hope failed to make the cut on Saturday, but that has paved the way for a new local rivalry on the links of the Royal Queensland Golf Course.

Smith was very emotional afterwards struggled on Friday with what he considered the worst round of his professional golf career.

The defending champion’s aspirations collapsed at Royal Queensland on Friday, culminating in tears as he bowed out of the Australian PGA Championship.

Entering Friday’s round trailing by 10 shots after a lackluster first round 73, Smith’s problems worsened in a nightmarish 18 holes in Brisbane.

Bogeys pursued him relentlessly as the hometown hero and tournament card posted a dismal seven-over-par 78 in the second round. The battle included six bogeys and a double bogey on the par-four, 443-yard 10th hole.

Smith was visibly unhappy when he missed the cut for the third round of the Australian PGA Championship by nine rounds

While Smith struggled, young Perth star Min Woo Lee climbed to the top of the leaderboard

The look on Smith’s face sums up his form in the second round, which has robbed the Australian event of its biggest draw

The 2022 British Open champion finished the tournament with nine over par, a whopping nine shots behind the par line.

In a field of 156 players, only a handful fared worse over the first two rounds, with Smith a whopping 21 shots behind the leader.

“It’s not acceptable – it’s actually very disturbing,” a tearful Smith said after missing the cut.

“I definitely get a little tired towards the end of the year, but that’s golf, that’s no excuse.

“Australia has been so good to me, even when I was tired, so there’s no reason to really perform like that.”

When the LIV Golf defector was asked if he could remember a worse round of his professional career, he simply replied ‘no’.

Despite Smith’s premature departure, Australia’s PGA is gearing up for a compelling clash of golfing titans as Adam Scott and Min Woo Lee continue to go head-to-head in the third round at Royal Queensland.

Smith’s absence has paved the way for an exciting meeting between the established veteran and the burgeoning talent in Australian golf.

At 43, Scott has the status of a respected member at Royal Queensland, making him the undisputed crowd favorite.

On the other hand, 25-year-old Lee, a rising star in the golf world, has a significant following, setting the stage for a compelling confrontation between the past and present of Australian golf.

With Smith out, former world champion Adam Scott has a chance to claim his home championship

Scott is invited to play with Woo Lee in the third round, setting up a box office showdown between the veteran and rising star

Lee surged ahead Friday with a 66 in the second round to reach an impressive 12-under, narrowly ahead of Adam Scott, who shot a stellar 65 on Friday after his 66 in the first round.

“I think we’re excited to play some good golf in front of them and hopefully we can get some cheers in the crowd,” Lee said.

“I hope it’s not so divided (strongly in favor of Scott).

“I think I’ve had a huge amount of support over the last two days and last year, so hopefully that will continue to be the case.”

With nearly two decades more experience than Lee, Scott said he had no reservations about sharing the course with his younger counterpart. However, he believes the eventual winner will have to take an aggressive approach

‘It really doesn’t matter to me who I play with. I’m playing in the last group and I’m happy with that,” Scott said.

“Someone will be close to under 20, so I just keep up with those kinds of numbers.

“You never know, it could get very windy and we won’t go that deep, but this is about the spot that was identified earlier this week, so I’m very happy with – I’ll call it par – but that’s very Good